December 28, 2018



Sequence number:s2797
Date of letter:1993-10(date on envelope)
Address of author:Jingzhou City, Hubei Province
Date of event:1937
Location of event:Shanghai City
Name of author:Bai Shudong
Name(s) of victim(s):Bai Shudong’s father, etc.Type of atrocity:Other Massacres, Air Bombing, Slave Laborers(SL, AB, OM)
Other details:In 1931, the Japanese soldiers occupied the three provinces in the northeast of China, and the common people could be arrested at any time. In 1937, my father went to Shanghai for shopping, but encountered the attack of the Japanese soldiers who suppressed the common people with military aircrafts and tanks. Many people were killed. My father’s legs were injured. Shanghai was occupied, and the Japanese soldiers cleaned up the battlefield. My father and other injured or killed people were together thrown into the river and drowned.

Japanese Invasion Army,
Why did you kill my endeared ones, and destroy my family?

I am Bai Shudong, a native of Xiuyan County, Liaoning Province, born in September 1925, now 68. My younger brother is Bai Shuheng, who is three years younger than me; my younger sister is Bai Shuhua, who is eight years younger than me. My father is Bai Runqing, my mother is Jiang Yuqin. My father graduated from the Northeast Military Academy, and worked as Lieutenant Quartermaster in the Northeast Army. At the time of the “September 18” Incident in 1931, when Japan invaded the three provinces in Northeast China, my mother, my younger brother and I lived at Xiuyan hometown in Liaoning, my father served in the Northeast Army, and stationed at western suburb of Peking (now Beijing).

Soon afterwards, Japan set up “Manchuria” in Northeast China, advocated the so-called Great East Asia Co-prosperity, “Sino-Japanese Affinity”, and enforced ‘nation conquered and race extinct’ education among people in Northeast China, so long as the Japanese considered there were Chinese who discussed Japan and had statements or behaviors unfavorable for Japan, regardless of daytime or nighttime, at home or on the street, the offenders would be captured at any moment for torture and interrogation.

Before Northeast China fell into the hands of the Japanese, my mother graduated from female normal school, where she received new education, developed patriotic thinking, she could not tolerate Puppet Manchuria’s fascist regime, so she wrote letter to my father to request my father to take us three persons to Peking.

After reading the letter, my father dispatched someone to accompany us to Peking. Soon, my mother gave birth to my younger sister, who was given a childhood name Xiaomao, formal name Shuhua. The whole family’s expenditure increased day by day, my father’s army salary could no longer sustain life. In 1935, he left the Northeast Army, and sold some daily-use articles to feed five mouths in the family.

In May 1937, because of invasion of the Japanese Army, prices in Peking soared, rent was expensive, we could no longer live in Peking any more, so my father took us four and left Peking to move to Taihe in Anhui.

On July 7, 1937, the Japanese Army created the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, and waged the invasion war.

In Early August 1937, my father left Taihe, Anhui to go to Shanghai to buy goods, on August 3, the Japanese Army invaded Shanghai, a fierce battle was staged, he was trapped in Shanghai, unable to return to Taihe, Anhui. When the Japanese Army invaded Shanghai, apart from guns and mortar, they also used aircrafts, tanks, armored vehicles, which killed or injured numerous Chinese civilians. In this attack by the Japanese Army, my father’s legs were destroyed by shells of the Japanese Army. After Shanghai fell into the hands of the enemy, the Japanese Army cleaned up the battleground, and looked for Chinese soldiers, in one resident’s home, they discovered my father, without saying a word they captured and tossed him into the turbid Huangpu River along with those dead and wounded Chinese people, they were instantly engulfed by the river water. My father left us in this tragic way; he died in the hands of the Japanese Army.

Back then, those traveling together with my father to buy goods in Shanghai witnessed the scene when the Japanese Army tossed my father into Huangpu River along with those dead and wounded Chinese people, all of them felt indignant at the injustice. Later, when they recalled the scene of tossing Chinese into river by the Japanese Army, they gnashed teeth, and denounced the Japanese Army’s inhuman atrocities.

The news that my father was killed by the Japanese was kept unknown from my mother, at first mother knew nothing, others who had learned the news also avoided telling her, afraid that she would be unable to withstand this heavy blow. Later, as time passed, they saw my mother had become mollified in her missing of my father, someone gently broke the news of my father’s death to her, my mother instantly fainted after hearing the news, when she came to, she yelled in desperation, and cried bitterly; we three siblings also burst into tears around my mother. The tragic atmosphere at that time was still chilling in recollection even today.

Without my father at home, it seemed as if the heaven had collapsed, everyone’s heart was shrouded in thick dark cloud of anguish, trapped in depression. Especially mother, who changed completely and behaved as if she were altogether another person, with hardly anything to say, she often sat there silently, speechless, or shed sad tears in a trance. Nonetheless, what good would that be? In cruel reality, the Japanese Army’s invasion only proliferated, for a women like my mother, what could she have done to improve the situation? She could only put aside the anguish, buried anger in the bottom of heart, shouldered the heavy burden of sustaining the family of four persons, led us three siblings, supported this broken home, and struggled to live on. On top of that we needed to stay watchful for Japanese aircrafts bombing, and avoid the pursuit of the Japanese Army. We fled to towns, countryside, and mountain villages in Luoyang, Xinyang, Binzhou, Xiaogan, Weinan, Xi’an, Changsha, Hengyang, Xing’an, and Guilin of Hunan, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Hubei, Hunan, and Guangxi provinces. In the beginning of the process, my mother still had some jewelry, clothing, other odds and bits for sale, later everything was sold, my mother could only do some casual jobs, worked as unskilled laborer, or worked as maid servant, or waited on people. We three siblings dug wild vegetables, picked coal slag, worked as child laborer, rummaged rubbish to collect anything valuable, and begged for food. We lived in grass shed, took shelter in dilapidated temples, huddled in street corners, slept outside railway railing, or even in the wilderness……Each day we fought hunger and struggled on the brink of death. But, where is the end of the long night! The situation deteriorated, and each day was worse than the one before……

In the late stage of the war, the Japanese Army became more ferocious and frenetic, almost inhuman. The battle line became longer, the fight intensified; the death toll of the war soared; the means of persecution escalated; bombing by Japanese aircrafts never interrupted day and night, there was not a moment of peace at any given time, people spent the whole day in great anxiety, for at any time one may perish either due to bombing o shooting. Especially when hearing emergency air raid alarm, and seeing Japanese aircrafts hovering above overhead, one would develop a sinking feeling, and wait with abated breath, wondering if one could survive this time?

Sometimes, Japanese aircrafts crowded the risky, and chased us homeless refugees, chased the old trains which carried us refugees, sprayed bullets incessantly, and dropped endless bombs, one batch had just left, another batch followed closely behind, their targets were male and female refugees leading children, carrying babies, escorting seniors, or shouldering bags, some of them were ill, sometimes they shot with machine guns, sometimes they dropped bombs successively, where a thick flume of smoke rose, the crowd being hit would immediately vanish, in its wake blood, flesh, dirt, shells……splashed, tumbled and landed onto the ground, dived into ponds, suspended onto trees……After Japanese aircrafts left, shell craters dotted the field, everything was in a mess, flocks of crows approached, babbled excitedly, and scrambled for splintered human flesh……

Japanese imperialists! This is the “Great East Asia Co-prosperity” that you advocated! This is the “Sino-Japanese Affinity” that you preached!

In the summer and autumn of 1944, mother and we three siblings followed the Hunan-Guangxi railway line, and fled to a small railway station between Guilin and Yishan, along with a large group of old and young refugees, we moved along slowly, because there were too many people, moving forward a short distance was not easy, some refugees crammed the box car near the small station, dangled on the top of the carriage, or jostled on flatcar……

All of a sudden, Japanese aircrafts appeared over the railway line, a large flock of rumbling mass that darkened the sky, we felt it’s ominous, because there were too many people, the target was too big, we wanted to disperse, but it’s already too late, we hurried to find places nearby to hid ourselves, my mother carried my younger sister and ran to a tree on the road side, and hugged my younger sister and hid there, my younger brother and I followed them and crouched in the ditch beside the tree, we saw the Japanese aircrafts moved overhead, tilted its wings and dropped bombs successively, I gnashed my teach, and closed my eyes, thinking, this would be it……As we heard rumbling of the explosion, the earth trembled, my younger brother and I were momentarily shocked into coma by the explosion, after the enemy aircrafts left, we shook off dirt on our body splashed by the bombing, got up, it was then that we saw mother had been killed under the tree, the tree was also torn apart in a mess, my younger sister collapsed beside my mother, her head had cracked; my younger brother and I shouted, and rushed out, hugged the bodies of my mother and my younger sister, cried aloud. Alas! Who could have imagined, we were forced by the Japanese invaders to flee to the southern side of the Shanhaiguan Pass, and then from North China to South China, only to find my mother and my younger sister dead in the wilderness in the end, they died in the hands of the vicious Japanese. Where is justice? Where is fairness?

While shedding tears and absorbing the dire ramification of the huge tragedy, my younger brother and I wrapped up the bodies of my mother and my younger sister with the sleeping mat we carried with us, and buried them in the ditch on the roadside. Seeing my father, my mother, and my younger sister one after another die in the hands of the Japanese invaders, my younger brother and I cherished irreconcilable deep-seated hatred toward Japanese invaders. But, what could we do? We could only cry with bitter tears. Japanese invaders! Why did you kill our endeared ones so wickedly?!

When my mother and my younger sister were killed by Japanese aircrafts, though my younger brother and I were not killed, the pain the trauma we experienced deep in our mind caused by atrocities of the Japanese Army would never heal. Soon afterwards, the Japanese Puppet Army approached from Hunan-Guangxi Railway line, after discovering us refugees, they chased women and captured men, they also captured my younger brother. When the Japanese solders came up to capture me, I struggled with all my strength, when my clothing was torn, I finally escaped the devil’s talon. I climbed a steep ridge, and dashed into a village. Later, I alone fled to Dushan in Guizhou, on the streets of Dushan I saw a conscription notice, there I left Dushan to Guiyang, where I joined the Chinese Anti-Japanese Youth Expedition Army to India.

On October 1, 1949, after the New China was born, I tried every means to look for my younger brother, in the end with help from the public security department, in 1974 I finally found him. Soon, he carried her daughter and took his son to visit me from Northeast China, during the conversation I learned that after he was captured by the Japanese soldiers, the Japanese Army forced him to carry cooking utensils, and work as laborer, whenever he was slow in movement, the Japanese soldiers would beat him or kick him fiercely. It was not until August 15, 1945, when Japan surrendered unconditionally, that he was released, and found freedom, he returned to hometown in Xiuyan County, Liaoning Province.

The history of my family’s destruction by the Japanese invaders also bears witness to the history of slaughter of Chinese by the Japanese invaders. From the “September 18” incident in 1931 till “August 15” in 1945 when Japan surrendered, this period recorded the profoundest and most painful period of relentless persecution of the Chinese people by Japanese Imperialism. Like hundreds of millions of other Chinese people, my whole family lived on Chinese territory, and did not damage any interest of Japan, instead the Japanese government barbarically and savagely sent batch after batch of Japanese Invasion Army onto Chinese territory, killed tens of millions of peaceful and kind Chinese people, raped Chinese women, plundered Chinese land, possessions…… meanwhile broke up our families, and we lived a life devoid of happiness which was inferior to life in prison, in this way thirteen years passed! Within these thirteen years, on the vast Chinese territory, how much blood had been shed, how much tears had been wasted, ho much hardships had been experienced, how much pain had been tolerated, how many people have been killed! Even today, more than 50 years after the War, whenever I remembered the horrible scenes and bloody sites when the Japanese invaders killed my father, my mother, and my younger sister, and cruelly tortured my younger brother, I would fly into a rage, and seethe with fierce hatred. Some Japanese even today completely deny the crime-infested invasion history of the Japanese Imperialism with closed eyes, how could the victim country, victims and victims’ family members tolerate such nonsense, how could the victims and victims’ family members develop friendship with Japan emotionally? I would like to sternly warn such Japanese to squarely confront the criminal history of Japanese invasion.

Mind you, from September 18, 1931 to August 15, 1945, no Chinese went to Kyushu, Shikoku, Hokkaido in Japan…… to kill Japanese, on the contrary the Japanese government dispatched troops to Chinese territory, imposed tyranny, and killed Chinese! Japanese invaders are out-and-out bandits, which has been recorded in human history, and is known to everyone on earth.

Now, on behalf of my father, my mother, my younger sister and my younger brother who were killed or persecuted in the Japanese invasion war period, I solemnly declare:

The Japanese government must assume full responsibility for trampling international public law, damaging human dignity by Japanese Invasion Army, including drowning my father, killing my mother, my younger sister, and beating my younger brother as well as atrocities committed against thousands of millions of persecuted Chinese civilians, and openly apologize and offer compensation to victims and their family members.

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Air Bombing(AB), Other Massacres(OM), Slave Laborers(SL)
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